Contraceptives and Contraception

Trying to conceive is an exciting time for couples. Sometimes however it can become challenging even after stopping the use of contraceptives. This is often because the method a couple uses for contraception determines how long it will take for them to regain fertility. Read more on infertility. Let’s look at some of the common contraceptives and how long it takes to return to fertility.

Birth Control Pill

The pill usually contains artificial hormones such as estrogen and progestin work by preventing ovulation. Fertility, when off the pill, usually takes one to three months of cessation to return.

Vaginal Ring and Birth Control Patch

These forms of contraceptives work in a similar way to oral contraceptives. The key difference is how the body receives them. Oral pills are taken through the mouth while the ring and patch are administered through the vagina and transdermal respectively. 

Fertility here takes one to three months to return to normal after stopping the use of these contraceptives.

Birth Control Implants

These are matchstick-sized plastic rods that are inserted on the upper arm. They work by slowly releasing progestin. Once inserted, this method can prevent pregnancy for up to three years others five.

Your doctor will have to remove it once the decision to try to conceive is made and it usually takes up to a month for the effect of the hormone to wear.

IUDS (Intrauterine Devices)

These are t-shaped devices that are placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The main types of IUDs used are either hormonal or copper. The copper IUD works by repelling sperm away from the fallopian tubes while the hormonal ones work by thickening the cervical mucus.

Fertility returns to normal within a month after the removal of a copper IUD while the hormonal option takes longer, usually several months.

Depo Provera (Birth Control Shot)

The depo Provera shot, when injected into the muscle slowly releases a chemical called medroxyprogesterone acetate which stops ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus.

If you intend to get pregnant any time soon, this form of contraception isn’t recommend as it may take up to a year for the effects of the drug to wear off and fertility returns to normal.

Once you stop contraceptives and have waited for the recommended time, consider seeing your doctor if you notice the following:

  • You don’t get your period back for three months
  • Cycles are irregular
  • You are 35 and older and have been trying to conceive for more than six months. Read about pregnancy at a later date
  • You are younger than 35 and have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for 12 months
  • When in doubt during this whole process consult your doctor.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: verywellfamily, medicalnewstoday, webmd

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